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This Drug Has Sickened Thousands of Animals - Will It Be at Your Holiday Feast?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page, CAFO's vs. Free Range page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

I have been to countless holiday meals when I had no control over the ingredients. Of course, I ate what was offered and was polite but knowing what I know now about what's really in food - it's hard for me to just shut up and take it. The more we shut up and take it, the more disgusting things like what I am about to share with you continue to happen. That's why I am sharing these important facts about how to avoid drugged up turkeys this holiday season.

I know it's tempting this time of year when you get coupons from the grocery store offering a whole turkey for FREE in exchange for shopping in their store. These "FREE" store-brand turkeys generally aren't free of antibiotics and are raised on a diet of GMOs. Most conventionally raised (non-organic) turkeys are pumped full of antibiotics, and this overuse of antibiotics is creating a major human health issue. Thankfully, because so many of us have raised concerns, including government agencies like the CDC, meat companies are beginning to transition away from using antibiotics. Hopefully in a few years the abusive use of unnecessary growth-promoting antibiotics will be a thing of the past!

But, there's something else that deserves your full attention.

There is another drug that is permitted to be fed to turkeys in the U.S. that is banned in dozens of countries due to health issues. You won't find it on the label, it's been shown to leave residues in the meat, and the meat companies are not required to tell you whether they use it.

I'm talking about Topmax (otherwise known as Ractopamine).

Ractopamine is a growth enhancing drug that's fed to some turkeys to increase their muscle mass. Basically, it's used to make big turkeys look perfect for a big Holiday feast. We've been conditioned to think that "bigger is better" - but when it comes to turkey, its not!

This drug has been shown to cause horrible health problems (and even the death of) animals, as can be witnessed by it's rampant use on pigs during the last decade. As reported by NBC News, "Since it was introduced, ractopamine had sickened or killed more than 218,000 pigs as of March 2011, more than any other animal drug on the market, a review of FDA veterinary records shows. Pigs suffered from hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs, inability to walk and death, according to FDA reports released under a Freedom of Information Act request."    
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